Saturday, September 29, 2012

Smoked Chicken: on its Last Legs, and Risotto Cakes

Friday 28 September
The sixth and last meal out of our two smoked chickens from the Saturday before last - I think we're doing pretty well at eking every ounce of meat and flavor out of a pair of birds.   

While we intermittently nuked the last pair of legs and thighs to just reheat, we took the leftover smoked chicken risotto from a week ago, patted it into cakes, breaded them with panko, and fried 'em up in butter.
Still smokin' - but not so badly since we've now cleaned the oven.

Steak with Mashed Potato and Creamed Leeks

Thursday 27 September
We're still feeling a mite red-meat-deprived, and there's no cure for that like a steak. 
Said beefy object got pan-fried and frequently flipped, while four or five Yukon golds were sliced, boiled, and mashed with cream.  What made it special, though, was the extra-long, extra-pale leeks from Madison's, just chopped, sautéed in butter and oil, steamed with a little chicken broth, and enriched with heavy cream and salt.  Made a perfect topper and dipper for both meat and mash.

Smoked Chicken Soup

Wednesday 26 September
Though smoked chicken week was last week, we still had lots of broth and a fair amount of chicken chunks left over from the risotto we'd made.  We heated the broth to almost boiling, and threw in some Trader Joe's dried tortellini, diced turnip, onion, and carrot, and in the last five minutes, some frozen green peas and then the chicken meat.  
It made a plentiful tureen for each of us, and the mix of smoky, spicy, and sweet flavors made the soup particularly piquant.

Linguiça with Tricolor Peppers and Onions

Tuesday 25 September
What to do if you haven't eaten red meat for a week.  Linguiça sausages from Kroger Bros. in Findlay Market - our new favorite since they started putting too much salt and fat into the Napas.  Fried up with slices of the giant yellow, red, and orange bell peppers that Madison's has been selling, and sliced onions, which are just normal onions; steamed for the last few minutes with a little white wine.
This is what you'd eat on a crusty roll if there was a Portuguese version of the Feast of San Gennaro.

Clam Chowder

Monday 24 September
We still had half a pound of fresh clams left from last night, so what could be more natural than a creamy Boston clam chowder?  (Even Barbara doesn't care for that watery Manhattan tomato stuff, and she comes from Queens.) 
You start by chopping up four rashers of bacon and rendering them in a pan with a chopped onion and some celery, while some diced yukon gold potatoes boil in another pot.  When the bacon is done and the onion is translucent, the juice from the clams and a bay leaf go in; then add the tender potatoes, top up with heavy cream and/or milk depending on the thickness you like, and when it's almost simmering, add the clams, stir till heated through, and serve.  
Manhattan, eat your heart out.

Clam and Cherry Tomato Pizzas

Sunday 23 September
The food stars came together to make this pizza night. 
Star 1: we had frozen a batch of homemade dough the last time we made pizza. 

2: a week or so ago we took a portion of our bountiful sungold cherry tomato harvest, halved them, sprinkled with olive oil and salt, and oven-dried them by baking at 200º for an hour, then in the oven overnight, finally packing them down in a jar with a few basil leaves and topping with more olive oil.  Perfect for making topping for a little pizza, especially if you have some goat cheese to crumble over it.

3: Luken's had fresh shucked clams for $6 a pound, a bargain for such a rarety in Ohio.  With Holt's New Haven background, what would that recall to us but a Pepe's white clam pizza?
All it took was half the dough, half the clams, some grated pecorino romano, a couple of minced garlic cloves, a sprinkle of dried oregano and (eventually) fresh parsley, and a plentiful douse of olive oil.
Oh, and getting the oven and pizza stone smokin' hot - literally.  There must have been a puddle of unseen grease in the oven - was it the smoked chicken that caused all the smoke? - because we had to open all the windows and doors to air out the place.  But the pizzas came out beautifully, and we can always clean the oven overnight.